RAC Cars News


New Bentley Continental GT and GTC will share Porsche platform

By raccars Published


2018 Bentley will share Panamera platform but will be inspired by the current model.

The 2018 Bentley Continental GT, underpinned by the same platform as the next Porsche Panamera has been spotted being tested in its convertible GTC form. The Continental is still redolent of Bentley’s hallmark design and takes many of its styling cues from the company’s current model.

Despite the similarities, both the GTC convertible and the GT coupe which are expected to be launched in 2018, feature new styling to their front ends. This design seems to draw inspiration from the concept EXP 10 Speed 6 concept which was seen at the Geneva motor show last year and they will also have a shorter wheelbase and shorter overhangs.

New Bentley Continental platform

The new Bentley Continentals will share the Panamera’s MSB platform as a result of a fruitful collaboration between Porsche and Bentley. It will be used in a lengthened form on the next-gen Porsche Panamera. This explains why a test mule of the Bentley Continental which was spotted out and about was making use of a shortened version of the current Panamera body shell, although the ride height had been altered to correspond with Bentley specifications.

Wolfgang Dürheimer, the President and CEO at Bentley, has promised that the new range of Continentals will be considerably lighter than the current cars. This is because the Continental will follow in the footsteps of the Bentayga SUV and sport a body shell created using a structure made from hybrid materials. This will dramatically reduce the models' weight.

The current car’s body is made from steel but the new model is believed to feature various high-strength steels which reinforce a body which is created primarily from aluminium. This should mean that the Continental’s weight should fall well below the GT’s current 2,375kg. However, Dürheimer has said that it will not go below two tonnes.

Powering the Bentley Continental GT and GTC

Power trains in the new Bentley Continental GT will include an updated petrol 4.0-litre V8 engine and the new W12 unit with its 600bhp which is making its first appearance in the much-talked about Bentley Bentayga. Also expected is a V6 petrol plug-in hybrid which will share the set-up which creates 410bhp when used in the current plug-in hybrid version of the Porsche Cayenne.

It is unlikely, however, that Bentley will be offering Continental buyers the diesel V8 unit which will soon be making its appearance in the Bentayga. Installed in the Bentayga, this will develop around 400bhp, whilst in the Cayenne it manages 380bhp.

Dürheimer spoke at the launch of the Bentayga earlier this year and said that he has a personal goal of being at the helm of a stand-alone and sustainable business creating 20,000 units per year. He envisages a choice of seven models, although there has yet to be sign-off on the sixth and seventh model ranges, namely the sports SUV derived from the Bentayga and the production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 coupe.

Speaking of the advantages that can be gained from Bentley’s position within Volkswagen’s new Sports and Luxury Group, Dürheimer says that more can be achieved by the test drives within the VW Group. This approach is set to involve fewer cars and will see the effort being divided between the new groups.

There will also be additional benefits achieved through the sharing of research and development capabilities, together with a suitable supplier base for luxury and high-performance models from Bentley, Bugatti and Porsche.

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